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just found bed bugs--am freaking out

(4 posts)
  1. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jun 19 2008 3:06:35
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    A few months ago as the weather got warmer, I started noticing bug bites. I Advantaged the cat, thinking that perhaps she'd picked up some fleas. That didn't do the trick. Over time, I ruled out mosquitos (not generally a problem in southern California) and other pests.

    Today, I found two bugs in the bed, and luckily, shortly thereafter, I found this website. Reading over the FAQ I realized that I'd likely been feeding the evil beasts for months. My bed has all the signs--actual bugs, those horrible stains.

    I'm completely freaking out. I can't sleep at all. I had insomnia already before this started, and there is just no way I can possibly fall asleep in a bed that I know is crawling with creepy crawlies just waiting to use me as dinner. I will absolutely call a professional in the morning and tell my landlord, but I'm terrified. I'm on the verge of a complete panic attack.

    I'm also afraid that my landlord will take this as a sign that I'm a bad tenant, even though I suspect that the place I picked them up was probably a hotel somewhere (I travel a lot), unless they came from someone else's apartment. For all I know, someone else in my building has them or brought them in. My city doesn't have any information on the web about tenants and landlord disputes, and I'm not in a great financial situation, so I'm sure that's just making the anxiety worse.

    First of all, any encouragement or support you could offer would be totally appreciated. And secondly, if anyone in south LA or north Orange county has any suggestions about good PCOs in this area, I would be even more grateful.

  2. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jun 19 2008 14:03:46
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    hi buggy,
    i know first finding the bugs can be extremely stressful, the best thing is to have a pco inspect not only your property but all surrounding apartments as well. it's very possible that one of your neighbors has a problem that moved on over to your place. if the landlord knows very little about bedbugs (and how easy they are to catch no matter HOW clean you are), you could consider printing off some of the FAQs from this website (orange button below) to give to him/her.

    in many locations the landlord is responsible for the extermination of bedbugs, and is thus often required to pay for the pco treatment. you could call the tenancy board in your local area to find out if this is the case. if the landlord is responsible, it may ease your mind a bit in terms of finances.

    i'm ot from LA, so i'm not much help regarding pcos in the area, but the best advice i can give is to contact the landlord first, and then go from there. generally you want several treatments, spaced at two week intervals, until the bites and signs completely stop. finding a pco who will do repeat treatments (all as part of one cost) would probably be best. your landlord might have a pco that they usually hire.

    good luck!

  3. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jun 20 2008 2:39:53
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    You might have to make some phone calls. You could search around for low cost or free legal aid and also see what the local public health authority has to say. This might take some persistence and be exasperating, but it could save you money if it turns out that keeping the place habitable is your landlord's responsibility. Also, LilBit gives excellent advice about the surrounding apartments. The panic may subside a little when you start doing all the work, gives you something to focus on beside your paranoia. Also, you might try sleep meds - now is the time, if ever!

  4. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jun 20 2008 9:03:07
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    Buggy,
    Sorry but you now are one of us. All the things that you are feeling are normal.
    Finances low the best thing that you can purchase is a steamer from Bed Bath & Beyond.
    Read this site for steamer info. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional steamer, only about $70.00. I think that if you double click on my name it will bring up my old posts, not too long ago I recommended a steamer and posted the site, if you search you may find and if not I can look into it again and get the information to you. Do not steam if you have pesticide down until the residual wears off. Steam and other things can break down the strength of the chemicals. You do need a professional with bed bug knowledge to treat you home. Again, this site has information on what chemicals work and what to do as prep. My suggestion is not to prep for the exterminator but leave everything in place until the first total spray has been completed. My thinking is that when you do start to move thing around you will makes the bugs active and with that the hopes of them coming into contact with the chemicals. No chemical down and you stir he bugs than my belief is that they will then seek a place that may be hard to get to such as inside floors and walls and then that makes it more difficult for the chemicals to get to when the PCO does spray. I believe that they some then may become dormant and wait till the chemicals where off to seek a blood meal.
    That is my speculation and my honest feelings. If I had to do it all over then that is how I would approach it.


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